Archive for the 'Mountains Life' Category

Leura Station Canopy Resistance

Friday, June 27th, 2014

With stories in this week’s Gazette about the planned station canopy, it seems community resistance is hardening.

Disgruntled locals have made their opinions clear on the hoarding around the yellow pylon footings (see pic). And local member Rosa Sage braved icy winds Thursday morning for a bit of face to face opinion gathering with her constituents. It will be a good test of how effective Rosa’s voice can be.leura-hoardings

Bushfire Assistance links

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

The Gazette published a useful list of services and assistance available from Council and other levels of government/NGOs.

Full list is here:

http://www.bluemountainsgazette.com.au/story/1857325/blue-mountains-council-supplies-bushfire-emergency-information/?cs=1180

Best wishes to all those affected.

Three Sisters Pale? Katoomba to get a brewery.

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

Industry publication The Shout reports the team at the Carrington Hotel in Katoomba are readying a new boutique brewery.

With three beers initially planned, Three Sisters Pale Ale, Chimney sweep Porter and Great White Fleet American Pale Ale, the brewery will be housed in the former power plant near the Cellars/Deli.

The new venture will cap off a decade of renovations that have transformed the hotel.

carrington-brewery

 

Mountains train commuters – get ready to get up earlier, get home later and stand in the crush

Friday, May 17th, 2013

Draft new train timetables released by Fairfax show the state government expect to cut peak hour services for upper mountains commuters and drastically overcrowd them by adding stops across western Sydney.

The leaked draft shows the current peak hour services to the city leaving at 5:26am, 5:41am, 5:59am, 6:09am, 6:40am and 6:57am from Katoomba will be replaced by just three services 5:26am, 6:26am and 6:56am and all stop at Emu Plains, Penrith, St Mary’s, Blacktown, Seven Hills, Westmead, Parramatta, Granville, Clyde, Auburn, Lidcombe, Homebush and Strathfield. None will stop at Redfern.

The return journey also suffers sharp cuts, with the 5:06pm, 5:23pm, 5:37pm, 5:55pm, 6:08pmand 6:36pm replaced by just three services at 5:18pm, 5:52pm and 6:26pm. All services stop repeatedly in Western Sydney at Emu Plains, Penrith, St Mary’s, Blacktown, Seven Hills, Westmead, Parramatta, Granville, Clyde, Auburn, Lidcombe, Homebush and Strathfield. None will stop at Redfern.

To compound the cuts, the 5:52pm service will make limited stops in the mountains, meaning residents of Blackheath, Medlow Bath, Leura, Bullaburra, Lawson, Hazelbrook, Woodford, Linden and Faulconbridge will have just a single train between 5pm and 6:20pm.

Should the timetable go ahead, it will be interesting to see who is left voting for Roza Sage next election.

Mount Victoria Great Train Weekend 2013

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

If you look forward to the screech of the steam whistle and the smell of the coal smoke each May when Mt Vic runs the Great Train Weekend, you will be disappointed to hear the 2013 event has been cancelled.mt-vic-images

The Lithgow Mercury reports organisers struggled to get access to a steam engine at an acceptable cost, forcing the very popular event to be scrapped.

Hopefully the 2014 Great Train Weekend will return bigger and better than ever.

Target slated for Katoomba

Friday, May 10th, 2013

Upper mountains residents forced to trek to Lithgow or Winmalee for basics since Kmart closed will be pleased to hear that Wesfarmers is planning a Target Country variety store in Katoomba Fair. The site, in Pioneer Place previously occupied by Franklins, has been owned by the Coles group for many years, and was used to deliver Lay-by items last Christmas for Kmart shoppers following that stores closure.Target_signage

With no external building work required, the new shop could be open later this year.

Meanwhile, work continues on the old Coles/Kmart site, now owned by Woolworths and subject to redevelopment work to add parking and floorspace for the new Woolworths Supermarket and BigW stores. The battle between the retail duopoly saw front page news last month with claims of dirty tricks as each group sought control of the other’s real estate.

Work on the Woolworths/BigW site is expected to finish in 2014, dramatically increasing retail space in the region.

 

Leura Gardens Festival Raises over $100,000

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

The Lithgow Mercury is reporting that last year’s garden festival raised over $100,000 with donations to Blue Mountains and District Anzac Memorial Hospital at KAtoomba and The Blue Mountains Health Trust and Cancer Help.

What a fantastic effort by a team of hard working volunteers. This year’s show will be on October 5 to 13.

garden-festival

Roller Derby Bout in Katoomba

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

Blue Mountains Roller Derby’s first home bout is against HARD at the Katoomba sports and aquatic centre on Saturday the 15th September. Tickets are available at the door for $10 (kids 12 and under free). Snacks and drinks are available, and over-18s who get there early can get trackside in the ‘suicide seats’.

BP Katoomba to be redeveloped

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

The ex-Burmah fuels site has plans before council to renovate and expand, including a adjoining Subway restaurant with indoor seating. Comment submissions to the council close 5th July.

Central, first stop Katoomba!

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

The O’Farrle government has announced a new daily train service between Bathurst and Central.

The morning run departs Bathurst  at 5.40am and arrives at Central at 9.25am.  The return service will leave Sydney at 5.55pm and arrive in Bathurst at 9.30pm. The express will stop at Katoomba, Mt Vic and Lithgow.

The Lithgow Mercury is calling the service the Bathurst Bullet, which is hardly the Fish and the Chips (see last question).

Time Warp 1983

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

John Merriman, the BMCC Local Studies librarian has uploaded a fantastic set of colour photos of mountains streetscapes from 1983.
Highlights include Golden Fleece petrol stations (48c per litre), Fosseys, Toranas and Kingswood’s a plenty.
Service Stations

Street Views

fireworks $10 at one of the 3 (!) KAtoomba toy shops

Wentworth Falls, Leura and Katoomba new construction plans

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Today’s post is a round up of local development applications for proposed building works. First up, an application for retail development in Wenty. The application for six new shops plus residential unit upstairs boasts that it will bring Wenty up to speed with the other local towns that have seen recent development. Not sure Lawson, Leura and Katoomba would agree the developments have been desirable. At least it appears to be reasonably sensitive to the built environment.

Nobody will be accusing the developers of the approved units at the GWH off ramp for Leura of sensitivity to the local environment. More like an attempt to outdo the Spires in hideous presentation. Apparently, the council gave in after they were advised the development application was complying and they would lose in the Land and Environment Court if they opposed it. At least there is some schadenfreud that the absentee landlords in the Spires who paid $360,000 off the plan a decade ago will have neighbours who paid $260,000.

And the largest development in the area, a sixty unit residential apartments, plus retail, originally approved in 2007 looks set to go ahead in Goldsmith Place Katoomba. It says something about how bad the similar scale Leura apartment developments are that this block starts to look reasonable. The three building plan is six stories tall at the tallest point, but owing to the below grade site it will appear no more than three stories tall. Mind you, if work doesn’t start by May they will be back to the drawing board as consent will lapse.

Dr Eric Dark Memorial Dinner and Lecture in Support of Varuna

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Varuna, the Katoomba writer’s retreat, is hosting inaugural Dr Eric Dark Memorial Dinner, held to honour the legacy of Dr Eric Dark and celebrate “Doctors Who …” create, innovate, advocate and collaborate for the “health of the nation”. Dr Dark and his wife, literary author Eleanor Dark, were the original owners of Varuna, prior to its establishment as a writer’s centre with the cooperation of their son, Mick.

The dinner will include the inaugural Dr Eric Dark Memorial Lecture by Associate Professor Grant Blashki as well as a Q&A panel featuring well known medicos such as Dr Arthur Chesterfield-Evans with a literary bent, allong with Dr Tanveer Ahmed: psychiatrist, author and opinion columnist for the Sydney Morning Herald acting as MC for the night.

The dinner is on Saturday 10th March at the Fairmont.

Full details at Varuna’s Doctors who…website

Join in a World Record Attempt in Leura

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

The VisitBlueMountains organised Roaring 20s Festival has come up with a novel way of promoting the event and the region – a world record attept for the most massed Charleston dancers in costume.

The current record is 250, so they rate their chances as good for taking the title at the February 4th event in Leura Mall. Everyone is invited to participate, although to be counted in the world record numbers you will need to be in 1920s attire. Details here.

Santa, Santa, Santa

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

In recent years, Father Christmas has only made sporadic appearances in the upper mountains before the night he traditionally turns up.

This year, Rotary has convinced the big guy (or one of his helpers?) to make some regular appearances on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for a picture at the Leura newsagency. You will spot him between 10:30am and noon or 2:30pm and 4:30pm. Photos are $15 with proceeds helping local causes.

Mr Claus will also be making an appearance at Leura School Markets this Sunday, 4th Dec, at 11:30am. This is the last market of the year, so locals and visitors are invited to visit the 50+ stalls to pick up a unique gift for Christmas.

Leura Garden Festival & Village Fair 2011

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

The blossoms are coming out on the cherry trees and the weather is tending to warm, and all around the mountains people are out in the garden.

For Leura though, spring means it is almost time for the Garden Festival (Oct 1-9) raising money for the local hospital, and the Village Fair (Oct 8 & 9) which sees the main street turn into a throng of stalls and visitors.

Blue Mountains officially a disaster area

Friday, July 8th, 2011

It’s been a wild and windy week in the upper mountains, and with power finally back on to nearly everybody, things are settling back to normal.

Lots of damage still to be cleaned up, but a big thank you to hard working SES, power workers and Fire-ies. The best site for any more info on damage/blackouts is http://bluemtns.wordpress.com/

Photo below is from the South Katoomba Rural Fire Brigade on Facebook

Crushed train being removed

Carrington Streaker for Channel Nine

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

Despite the cold, a local has had a bit of fun with Channel Nine News, baring all for a streak behind TV weatherman Tim McMillan during a live broadcast at the Carrington. With temps hovering around zero, it wouldn’t have been a flattering look.

Video here.

Video capture of a streaker behind weatherman

Blue Mountains Pet Photography

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

For all Katoomba and Leura dog lovers, we’re celebrating our move to the Blue Mountains with a $50 session special. Previously based in Sydney, we’re proud to finally call the mountains home and so we’d like you to help us celebrate! If you have a pampered pooch or cat that you regard as a special member of your family, give us a call today.

All details and pet galleries are on our website:  www.redbirdphotography.com.au

All creatures great and small are welcome! We are also available for [human] family sessions, contact us to see a sample session. Be quick, book early to avoid disappointment!

 

Blue Mountains Food Co-Op Community Fair Day

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

The Food Co-op in Katoomba is celebrating its 30th birthday, making it probably the oldest in NSW (Afalfa House in Enmore is the other co-op in the running) and on  of the oldest in Australia (Maple St Co-op in Maleny QLD was founded in 1979). Founded in a garage in 1980, the co-op has thrived in its current location in Ha’penny Lane since 1998.

To celebrate 30 years, a Community Fair at Philip Hall Blackheath is planned for Saturday 12th March with entertainment and events from 10am to 10pm.  Entry is free.

Roaring 20s – Katoomba and Leura Walking Tours

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Blue Mountains Tourism is running a “Roaring Twenties” promotion in the upper mountains and central west in February. It’s a nice idea with dinners, dances, accommodation specials and other activities all themed around the the 1920s era.
One activity that looks particularly interesting is the historical walking tours of Katoomba and Leura offered on the Thursday 10th – Saturday 12th in February. Recounting stories of the time and giving insight into the buildings left behind it looks to be educational and fun. Details on the Carrington Website.

Ikou & Josophan’s in media

Monday, November 29th, 2010

A flattering write up of Josophan’s chocolates and Ikou day spa in the Fairfax press.

Link here.

Leura Clock Tower Working!

Monday, November 8th, 2010

The electronic magazine The Whistler has had a big win with the restoration of the Leura Spires clock tower.

The photo below was taken at about 4:07 – nice work. The second issue of the Whistler has been released, so head over and take a look.

Leura Spire Clock Tower showing the correct time!

East Timor Sisters Book Sale, CWA Hall, Megalong St, Leura 30 & 31 October

Sunday, October 10th, 2010

Good quality books, CDs & DVDs required now. Turn your unwanted books, CDs and DVDs into cash for East Timor. Deliver them to 8 Westbourne Street, Wentworth Falls or call Ruth on 4757 1953.

Smart House Winners Visit Wentworth Falls…Oops

Friday, October 8th, 2010

You might have read about the competition to let a family live rent free for a year in a “Smart House” in Newington in Inner Western Sydney, designed to showcase energy efficiency and low water use. The contest is over and the winners have moved in, and they have recently been trying out an electric car, the new Mitsubishi i-MiEV. Unfortunately, a trip to Blackheath proved too taxing for the batteries, and the car ran out of puff (buzz?) in Wenty.

Happily, the rain held off as the driver and passenger hoofed it into town for a bite, but the car had to be towed home.

Electric transport of one sort or another (we already have those shiny electric passenger devices over there on the rails) will most likely be key in the future, so lets hope the car makers can improve the range and a practical recharge network is developed.

Read the whole adventure and more from the Smart Home family here.

Co-housing in the Mountains

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Cohousing is a type of intentional community where a group of people have
organised to create a neighbourhood, an alternative way of living for ordinary
people which is based on mutual respect for each other & the environment.
Cohousing residents are consciously committed to living as a community without
scarifying the privacy of the individual households as such the physical design
encourages both social contact & individual space. The private homes contain all
the features of conventional homes, but residents also have access to extensive
common facilities such as open space, courtyards, a playground , workshops and a
common house.

The beautiful scenery of the Blue Mountains, affordable
land and a sense of community which already exists
provides a great platform for establishing a Cohousing Community.

There is an introductory talk to which all are invited to be held in Lawson.

Introduction to cohousing talk
Saturday the 25th of September 2-4pm
Mavis Wood Hall, Mid mountains community centre
7 New st. Lawson

More info on our blog:
http://sydneycohousing.blogspot.com/

Macquarie Candidates – Peter Whelan – Liberal Democrats

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

I am standing as the Liberal Democrats candidate for the seat of Macquarie, in the August 21st federal election.
I am a farmer, businessman, investor, family man, with qualifications in electrical engineering and hold a private pilot’s licence.
I am an active sporting shooter, fox, rabbit and deer hunter and enjoy playing golf every week.Peter Whelan - Liberal Democrats
I am 66 years old, married with 6 granddaughters.
I live in Glenorie and am Treasurer of Glenorie RSL Club. (drop in and see us sometime, at the friendly little club in the bush!)
I am National President of the Liberal Democratic Party.
I strongly believe in the principles of free enterprise, individual responsibility, small government and low taxes.
The Liberal Democrats are opposed to the three “old” parties, Liberals,
Labor and The Greens, who all want to tax us to the hilt, then decide how they will spend OUR money.
We believe that taxpayers want to keep more of their hard-earned money.
Taxpayers can best decide how they will spend it, or invest it, or save it, or whatever. Bureaucrats in Canberra do not know how best to spend our money, or how we should run our lives.
We could get rid of tens of thousands of unproductive Government employees, reduce middle-class welfare rorts, return power to local communities and be far better off.
For example, the Liberal Democrats would push for all State firearms registries to be closed (as has been done in Canada) and the money thus saved, put into improving mental health and dental services.

Macquarie Candidates – Terry Tremethick – Carers Alliance

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Terry Tremethick is a devoted husband and father of 3 children the eldest of whom has quadriplegia, so disability is the lived experience of Terry and his loving family.

Terry has live in the outer western suburbs of Sydney all of his is life. He currently works in IT and had lent his hand to many charities and organisations as a volunteer over the years.Terry Tremethick

Terry knows from personal experience that political outcomes can be influenced by direct action. Terry’s wife and son appeared on Channel 10 to argue that carer-families in NSW should be exempted from the increase in registration for heavy vehicles. Their direct action influenced the NSW government to exempt carer-families from the increase from 1 July, this year.

Carers Alliance is proud to have Terry as a candidate in Macquarie. Terry has a strong track-record in advocating for people with disabilities and carer-families. His desire is to change the face of government so people with disabilities and carer-families are tangibly recognised in Australian politics.

Policies – The first is the major one supported by many not just us. All are taken from Carers.org.au

National Disability Insurance Scheme (see http://www.ndis.org.au/)

It’s time to change the way services for people with disabilities are funded and structured in Australia.

It’s time to make services for people with disabilities and their families effective, equitable and efficient.

Almost every Australian has cared, or is caring, for a family member with a disability, or knows of a family doing so. Many of these families fall through a huge gap in Australia’s social services network.

Those who acquire a disability through a workplace or a motor vehicle accident generally receive financial support. However, for those who acquire permanent disabilities in other accidents, are born with a permanent disability, acquire a permanent disability through a medical condition or have a permanent mental illness, there is no automatic support to meet their needs.

Other policies here –

Protecting the rights of children

Carers Alliance believes society owes the Child the best it has to give. Accordingly children must be given the support requisite for their normal development, materially, physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually.

A National priority

All children with special or additional needs must have a legislated right to service.

All children deserve the right to the supports that will maximise their potential whatever that may be.

The health system is the first point of entry for all children: There must be:

  • National global assessments of developmental, emotional and physical ability at prescribed stages of infant and early early childhood
  • Full assessment of physical (including vision, hearing and dental), emotional and psychological health of the child at prescribed developmental milestones up to the age of 16 years.

Special Needs Health

Developmental Disability Health

Many adults with intellectual disabilities do not need special medical attention. It is important for primary care physicians to recognize that, in general, adults and older persons with an intellectual disability have the same needs for disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment as the general population.

Having said this those who do need medical attention discover that Australia’s hospitals are ill equipped to deal with people with moderate and severe cognitive disability with limited communication who are often unable to express pain and discomfort and often serious illness is left undiagnosed.

For this reason Carers Alliance believes there is a place for specialist developmental disability clinics in all major teaching hospitals to provide educational and clinical practice supports for primary care physicians caring for people with intellectual disabilities. These clinics would enable medical practitioners to gain experience in clinical conditions  or other discomforts which are often expressed through challenging behaviour and often result in the patient being sedated without pain relief with the primary condition left undiagnosed.

Aged Care

Individualised Funding of Aged Care Services
Most people as they age would prefer to remain living in their homes, surrounded by those they know and the comforts of familiarity.

Carers Alliance will fight in the Senate for individualised funding for in home services and community support services.

Mental Health

Carers Alliance is deeply concerned with the narrow scope of mental health policy from the major parties.

Carers Alliance will work towards ensuring that 15% of the health budget is for mental health services

Person Centred Funding

Carers Alliance is  committed to person centred funding that places the consumer at the heart of service provision. Currently the block funded model  sees recipients powerless and at the mercy of the funding body.  The provider determines what services a person can have and when they can have them, allowing little autonomy.

Most people living with disability in Australia know where their best interests lie. It is not only reasonable but socially necessary to provide individually tailored services that fit into the lifestyle of the service user.

Macquarie Candidates – Amy Bell – Independent

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Macquarie’s only Independent candidate,Amy Bell,  is a 31 year old mother of three from Katoomba.
With a Bachelor of Nursing from UWS and a history of grassroots environmental activism,  moving into Birth activism after witnessing a medical monopoly over womens autonomy in pregnancy and birth.

Amy cites the passing of key legislation by a determination signed the night before the election was called as the catalyst to her candidacy .

In the last year consumers have despaired at the control the medical lobby has exerted over both major parties regarding health reform.  We are now facing a situation where long awaited Medicare reforms are completely controlled by the medical lobby.  Doctors will have to physically agree to all care that a midwife, with a Medicare provider number – a registered health practitioner in their own right – provides before the mother is eligible for a rebate.

This reform could have given women in the Blue Mountains greater safety through a local midwifery service, instead they will continue to face uncertainty and danger. The Blue Mountains Hospital maternity service is not sustainable in its current form.

Amy has a strong sense of community, having volunteered with Australian Breastfeeding Association, represented consumers on the maternity consumer consultation board at Katoomba Hospital, performed with Ruby Bloomers Womens circus and co-hosts the Birth Hour on BluFM.

Amy knows the concerns of the community, because she is part of the community, and will represent the voices from Macquarie.
www.macquarie2010.com.au

Free Books on the Train – Say no to MX

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

Weary mountains commuters got a pleasant surprise Tuesday evening when the 5:08 to Mt Vic was littered with novels on every second seat.

“MX will destroy your brain. Read this book instead” and “Check me out I’m Free” were samples of the notes stuck to the front covers.  A note inside reminds readers that MX is part of News Limited, Rupert Murdoch’s global news and information empire, and urges readers to consider what such a strong concentration of media ownership (13 papers in Australia alone) does for the quality of impartial reporting. The benefactors remained anonymous.

More guerrilla book distribution in future is encouraged!

Leura Mall Woolworths development – shops to let

Monday, July 5th, 2010

woolworths-mall-viewBrookfield Partnership has released a brochure advertising shops for lease in the yet to be completed Woolworths development on Leura Mall at the old Colless site. It includes and artists impression and plan view for those of us having difficulty envisioning just what is in store.

Want to know the time in Leura?

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

With Wenty and Katoomba both boasting public clocks that keep pretty accurate time, why is Leura bereft?
A new electronic magazine – the Whistler – based in the Blue Mountains, launches with an investigation of just why the clock on the Spires has never worked.
Other stories are of local interest too.
Katoomba Leura Online supports the Whistler in its quest to get the Spires clock working.

whistler-magazine

McDonalds coming to Leura

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

What with a Woolworths, Dan Murphy’s and a Woolworths Petrol Station in development, Upper Mountains residents have enough to think about when it comes to new commercial ventures. A sign promising McDonalds is coming soon set up in the vacant field next to the Leura-GWH roundabout was certain to get locals to react.Leura-mcdonalds

It spurred a Facebook group in opposition and gathered many a second look, but by Sunday it was gone.

Our own thoughts are the 1st of May might have been a month to late for the organised pranksters.

Good news for Council, but still millions lost.

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Following on from our earlier post on the debacle where BMCC had at least $11m invested with failed investment house Grange Securities, part of the bankrupt Lehman Brothers bank that was one of the biggest casualties of the global financial crisis.

The SMH reports that a class action of councils has been successful in a legal attempt to apply to Lehman Brothers administrators for recognition of their claims. In short, instead of being paid as little as 5c in the dollar, BMCC may realise a little more. Katoomba Leura Online understands the large anticipated loss has yet to be fully recognised in BMCC financial results, so future rate rises may be on the way.

Latest update on Woolworths Leura Development

Friday, March 12th, 2010

The Western Regional Planning Panel met yesterday to discuss the Woolworths development on the old Colless site in Leura Mall.

The business paper presented gives the latest info on the proposal for a 1400sqm super market plus speciality shops (by comparison, Katoomba ALDI is about 1200sqm).

The key message from council is the revised development is head and shoulders over the previously approved retail/residential multi-story development on which building work has now ceased. The revised Woolworths proposal retains the two historic shops (currently Goodies supermarket) and adds three new shops on the Mall in keeping with the surrounding premises.

Entry to the supermarket will be from a corridor running from the Mall to the car park, or via a ramp up from the proposed below ground parking. There appear still to be some issues around signage, traffic and trolleys, which should be scrutinised based on the experience of previous developments where “nothing could be done” once building was complete.

Whether a major supermarket open 7am to 10pm will be a benefit to Leura is highly questionable, but at least the new proposal looks a little more in keeping with the township.

View from The Mall

View from The Mall

Fairfax Article on the Mountains Slow Food Movement

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

This article popped up in a search, and even though it is a couple of years old, I thought I would post it as it is quite a nice overview on the Cittaslow movement in the mountains (link is to WA Today as I can’t find it on SMH). It has several interviews and references to locals like Hominy Bakery, Logan Brae Orchard and the Co-Op at Katoomba. Read it here.

wa-today-slow-food

RFS adds additional “Safer Places”.

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

The RFS has added the Council Chambers and car park at Katoomba, Pioneer Place at Katoomba and Mt Victoria Park to its list of safer places shoud residents seek a last minute refuge in case of catastrophic fire.

Still no sites between Leura (the golf course) and Glenbrook (Whitton Park), which remains concerning.

Full list at the RFS Website.

RFS releases Neighbourhood Safer Places list

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

On of the outcomes of the Victorian fires earlier this year was the adoption of a plan to designate local refuges, to be called Neighbourhood Safer Places, where residents could seek emergency shelter should their evacuation be thwarted, or they reconsider their stay and defend decision at the last moment.

The following text and table is from the RFS site, I’m not sure if I’m terribly impressed with the nominated sites.

See the below table for the designated NSP locations in your local government area. These NSP locations have been subject to a validation process and have been deemed acceptable as a place of last resort.

Please note that the NSW Rural Fire Service has not yet received NSP locations for all local government areas of NSW. In addition, some recommended NSP locations will require further investigation to confirm that they are suitable as place of shelter to be used as a place of last resort during a bush fire emergency.

The NSW Rural Fire Service will continue to update the NSP locations as new data is received and validated. You should return to this site regularly for updates on the progress of the NSP program and to find a NSP close to you.

nsp

Controversial Leura mobile tower gets ready

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

Despite a number of protest letters, and backing from the local school newsletter, the 3G tower has been installed on top of the Spires. The photo below shows the crew preparing it for activation.

Although protesters suggest any level of electromagnetic radiation is unsafe, at least siting the tower in a high location, in an area generally commercial, rather than residential, and several hundred metres from the school, takes advantage of the inverse square law to give broad coverage at lower power levels. And compared to some towers it doesn’t look that bad.

Vodafone also responded to objections to the tower on health and safety grounds, citing evidence the power levels at which it would be operated are below accepted standards. The reply is unlikely to mollify protesters, however, as it basically says there is nothing to worry about according to science, rather than addressing the protesters non-scientific concerns that in the future there may be evidence that mobile towers are health hazards.

Leura's new mobile tower approaches commisssioning

Leura's new mobile tower approaches commisssioning

ABC 4 Corners examines Homelessness in Katoomba

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

Locals might be surprised to see how centrally Katoomba features in this week’s 4 Corners documentary about families facing accommodation crisis in Western Sydney.

The documentary, The Last Chance Motel,  features interviews with a number of families in housing stress, many who pass through Katoomba in the search for a permanent home. Unflatteringly, a local  landlord is also portrayed as exploiting these people.

The video and transcript can be found here.